HI - El Chaltén - Rancho Grande Hostel



Hostelz.com's Review

HI - El Chaltén - Rancho Grande Hostel is one of the busiest hostels in El Chalten -- this is not too surprising since it is also the home of Chalten Travel, who drop off busload after busload of tourists here.

The Location

The hostel is also the offices for Chalten Travel, so it can be extremely useful for catching the bus to El Calafate or toward the north. It's also only ten minutes' walk to the start of the National Park so it is perfect for when you want to do a short adventure. It's also possible to see Fitz Roy from near the hostel, but then this is the same for most of the places in this small village.

Rooms and Bathrooms

There are a variety of dorms and private rooms, with dorms restricted to four beds. They are not huge rooms but are big enough with large, comfy beds. They all have windows and feel very spacious considering their size. Possibly this is because the hostel was built for its purpose as opposed to some hostels where beds are made to fit into a variety of different-shaped rooms.

Common Spaces

The hostel has a large restaurant, normally packed with people waiting for a bus or filing their stomachs before heading out on a trek. Upstairs has a few more tables and plenty of Internet-ready PCs although the internet is quite expensive. They also project a movie onto the wall every evening.


It's custom-made for travelers, with plenty of space and smart, clean rooms. People are always coming and going so it can be hard to meet others, but most folks are only there to get a decent night's sleep before heading off with their tent and sleeping bag -- so if you're one of them also this shouldn't be a problem.
by Russell Slater
Hostelz.com Staff Reviewer
January 2010


(Location is approximate. You may need to pan/move to find "HI - El Chaltén - Rancho Grande Hostel" at Av. San Martín 724.)


Av. San Martín 724, El Chaltén (El Chalten), Santa Cruz, Argentina
-50.338408, -72.259619
None (if you know the URL of their website, tell us and we'll add it)
reservas@hostels.org.ar, chaltenrancho@yahoo.com.ar, ranchogrande@chaltentravel.com
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Hostelz.com Guest Reviews

  I am from Buenos Aires, Argentina. I currently live in New York but the best trip of my life was traveling alone to the South of Argentina and staying at Rancho Grande! Chalten is incredible. The rancho is exactly what trekkers need. Good crowd, excellent staff and Javier, a wonderful host. They all made my trip the best experience of my life. What are you waiting for? Keep on the good job, gang. Looking forward to seeing you soon. Saludos. Karina
From the main road, you can't miss the Rancho Grande Hostel, as it is a mammoth hostel painted bright yellow. It's also the main bus stop and office for the El Chalten Travel agency -- hence the reason the place can accommodate so many people. This is definitely a party hostel, and it is loud, packed, smoky and crowded. The size though, allows it to have an in-house bar, cafe, and restaurant which offer decent meals if you don't feel like cooking in the mediocre kitchen. The rooms are kept very clean and someone makes your bed everyday when you are out having fun. It's warm and very comfortable in the rooms. The doors, however, don't lock and we didn't see any lockers provided anywhere so security could be an issue. The bathroom is the worst thing about the hostel. The toilets are a bit small, so you have to really cram in there. Most disappointing though is the showers were ice cold! This seemed to be a normal thing, and this did not impress us, as after a 12-hour day hiking, a hot shower is one of the things you will look forward to. The staff did not seem too bothered by this. Overall, this hostel is a cold, informal place that operates much like a big motel. If a bed is all you want, or a party atmosphere, then you will get it here, but don't expect the comforts of home.
Elaine Kan

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